Tenacious Intro 1 .pdf

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Where are you from?
We ask it when we meet someone new. We ask—with curiosity
and kindness, one hopes—when we detect an accent of a different
region or a different country. We ask it, and it’s asked of us: Where
are you from?
In previous generations, the question was heavy with importance.
Meeting a stranger meant encountering otherness. There was
mystery, and fear. Today the shifting demographic tides of our
modern world, the relative ease of global travel, and the border
neutrality of the Internet have all dialed down the mystery. Fear,
however, seems to be making a comeback, especially in the United
The long-simmering resentment of Hispanics has heated up,
especially when there are political points to be scored. And now
there’s a new fear spreading across the land of the free—or rather,
the same fear with a different and more mysterious face: China.
The steep ascent of the Chinese economy, along with comparatively
slow economic growth in the U.S., has many Americans feeling
uneasy. Business leaders, elected officials, investors, educators, and a lot
of intelligent regular folks are looking fearfully at the Middle Kingdom.
Instead of seeing a complex and conflicted nation struggling to jump
from the seventeenth century to the twenty-first, they see a monolithic
economic juggernaut devouring scarce resources, American jobs, and
American prestige.
Oh boy, here comes another one.
Since the post-WWII boom quieted in the 1970s, prognosticators
have claimed that someone other than the U.S. has the new economic

Tenacious is available at all major online retailers. Visit staytenacious.com for more info. (R) 2011 Wealth Shift Publishing



mojo. In the early 2000s, a unified Europe and their single currency
was portrayed as the economy to fear, if not emulate. Same with Japan
a decade or so earlier. That didn’t happen, nor should it have. There
were rampant fears that Mexico was going to drain the vitality from
the U.S. manufacturing sector while India skimmed the cream from
high tech. Wrong again.
All these nations are populated with smart, hardworking people.
If you were seated next to one on a flight and struck up a “what’s
your business” conversation, you’d likely learn something interesting
and even useful. And sooner or later, you’d get around to the
question you probably wanted to ask all along: Where are you from?
But if you really want to understand how a nation’s economy
can thrive—if you want a more penetrating view of where to invest—
the best question to ask is not “Where are you from?”
It’s “Who are you from?”

Today even non-scientists have a reasonably accurate understanding of
DNA and the role it plays in shaping our individual biology. DNA
carries your genes, and genes are the blueprints you begin with to
build the house called you. The blueprints don’t tell you what
color to paint the trim, but they do clearly specify the architectural
style. For better or worse, you’re stuck in the house designed by your
genes. So are your kids and even their kids’ kids.
So, genes create individuals and individuals create societies. This
is a book about societies and the economies they develop.
In my first book, Wealth Shift, I defined the multiple ways in
which one group of American individuals, the aging Baby Boomers,
were going to play an oversized role in the U.S. and even the global
economy. I asked readers to look underneath economic data and
policy decisions to see the demographic forces shaping them. Wealth


Tenacious is available at all major online retailers. Visit staytenacious.com for more info. (R) 2011 Wealth Shift Publishing



Shift debuted in 2003 and much of what those pages anticipated has
happened, or is happening now.
I return to Wealth Shift not to congratulate myself, but to
illustrate to the readers of Tenacious that my focus has always been
on the macro rather than the micro. In Wealth Shift the focus was
demographics. In Tenacious, I’m digging further to expose a deep
vein of national character and shared values that I call societal DNA.
My goal is to help you make better decisions on where to invest your
attention and your wealth (the micro) by understanding the societal
DNA of who you’re investing in (the macro). Remember the question
isn’t “where,” it’s “who.”

I believe in the United States. That’s not political or sentimental. I
don’t have a flag in my front yard or Norman Rockwell on my office
walls. My belief is rooted in my own study of American economic
history and first-hand experiences with individuals and industries
tapping into this history to forge promising futures.
In the pages ahead I’ll argue hard for the U.S., but I’m not
interested in creating enemies.
China gets a lot of ink here, and if you restrict your view to the
current news cycle, it’s easy to imagine the U.S. and China as
economic adversaries. They are competitors, of course, but also
partners in helping to strengthen the American economy by lifting
the living standards of millions of Chinese citizens. I’m going to
take you into the foundational structures of Chinese societal DNA.
These are remarkable people who deserve our respect and
The Chinese people are also expressing something essential
and immutable in how they manage the economic Frankenstein
they’ve brought to life. It’s a monster that no one should want to
fall down.

Tenacious is available at all major online retailers. Visit staytenacious.com for more info. (R) 2011 Wealth Shift Publishing



Tenacious takes its title from the societal DNA of the U.S. This deep
vein in the American character is layered with the fierce striving of
immigrants, initially Europeans and then Asians and Hispanics. The
individuals who set out for the New World brought with them traits
and values that had no place in sixteenth-, seventeenth-, eighteenth-,
or nineteenth-century Europe.
They wanted opportunity, not hierarchy. O w n e r s h i p , n o t
serfdom. Ideas and invention, not crowns and courtly rituals. Leaving
was hard, the journey was treacherous, and the new beginnings
were heartbreakingly difficult. Setting aside the scourge of slavery
for a moment, no one came to America by accident. They fought
to get here and then fought to survive—including the freed African
slaves. They were tenacious. And they are us.

Tenacious is available at all major online retailers. Visit staytenacious.com for more info. (R) 2011 Wealth Shift Publishing

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